Monday, February 18, 2019

Japan Travel: Kyoto: Fushimi Inari Shine

Famous for the thousands of torri gates, Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社) is one of the most popular attractions in Kyoto (Japan).

From Osaka, we took Osaka Metro, and then transferred to Keihan Railway to Fushimi Inari Station. If you are taking Japan Rail, then the station is Inari Station. Both stations are just a few minutes walk to Fushimi Inari Shrine.

When we alighted at Keihan Railway Fushimi Inari Station, we actually took almost one hour before we entered Fushimi Inari Shrine! Why? It was because we were distracted by the food street leading to the shrine!

Grilled or steamed sweet corns, crab meat stick, dango, tofu, dorayaki and so on, most of them cost around 400 to 500 yen, not cheap though.

Our favourite street food was the tofu which was covered by bonito flakes. The thoughtful stall owner cut the tofu into smaller cubes as he saw our children.

We also bought a packet of chestnuts that cost 1000 yen, quite expensive, but they were delicious. There was a stall selling beef skewer, I bought one stick and totally regretted spending my money on the tough meat.

Finally, we reached Fushimi Inari Shrine after squeezing through the food street.

Foxes are thought to be the messengers of the god of agriculture and business. Other than statues in the shrines, we also saw many fox-related souvenirs in the nearby shops, as well as on dorayaki!

Well, this photo was taken with great patience! Please forget about taking such photo when you are going up the slope at the lower part of the trail, it was simply too crowded! To take photos among the torri gates, either you visit there early in the morning, or when you are going down the slope. Look out for the bends for the better photo spots without too many photo bombs!

The hike to get to the peak of the hill can take about 2 hours, but as our children could not withstand the cold weather, so we didn't manage to climb very high up.

There is a small shrine called Higashimaru Shrine within the premise for people to pray for academic success. Beautiful paper cranes were spotted inside this shrine! 

We walked back to the food street for second round of gourmet adventure. Then we saw an eatery Nezameya (祢ざめ家), the chef was grilling unagi (eel) outside the eatery. However, we saw a sign that each person must order food, we had to give it a miss as we were too full to have an unagi bowl each.

Finally we settled down at its neighbour Omiya (近江家). The eatery was quite small, and the food was simple. And don't expect good customer service as the eatery seemed to be quite short-handed.

After lunch, we took Japan Rail from Inari Station to Kyoto Station, where we transferred to another train to Arashiyama.

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